Why a Strategy Refresh?

As I write this note, our health system, state, nation and world confront what may be the most challenging time of our generation.

The world is fighting a pandemic the likes we have not seen in a century. Our nation is facing accountability with regard to unresolved racial inequities that have plagued our nation since its founding. And we are confronting an unknown economic impact that may challenge the ways we achieve our core missions in the coming years.

So, as our days are consumed by managing whatever crisis the next hour brings, it seems like a far-off fantasy to be thinking about a “strategic vision for the future.” With all we have to manage today what’s the point in lifting our heads long enough to see to the horizon?

Two words: Resilience and perseverance.

In these uncertain times I am reminded that the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. After being a part of the team here at U of U Health for the past two years, I know that we can rely on a few other certainties that are unique to our faculty, students, staff and community: U of U Health has a legacy of innovation that has benefitted patients not just here in Utah but around the world. A distinguishing feature on the national stage is our unmatched culture of collaboration—people working together to advance health and pioneering discoveries in science and medicine, all while training the next generation of health care professionals.

Additionally, we were ready to face the challenges of these times. Our strategy refresh work completed concurrently by the University of Utah and University of Utah Health has fostered greater alignment of our shared direction. Progress and success in one strategy directly reinforce and strengthens the other. The same impact is true as you take up this strategy, amplify it, align to it and enhance our organization at every level.

Our strategic vision for the future is that:

Together as One U, we serve communities and the region, lead education and discovery, and innovate care accountable for outcomes. We believe that communities, partners, and people make us who we are, and we are fully invested in their health, wellness and success.

At U of U Health, we have a unique opportunity to extend this leadership into all areas of health, in turn helping both our population and those beyond our borders.

We invite you all to join us on this journey.

Michael Good

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Michael Good
Senior Vice President, Health Sciences
University of Utah

Strategy Refresh 2020-2025

Strategy refresh work completed concurrently by the University of Utah and University of Utah Health has fostered greater alignment of our strategies. Progress and success in one strategy directly reinforces and strengthens the other.

One U

How We Are Advancing

One U

We are a high performing health system and university. We create our highest value when we work together. Rapid changes in the environment require that we make decisions quickly and act nimbly. We will organize to create new value, solve grand challenges, and reach our full potential as an integrated, high-performing organization. Shared governance will help us make correct decisions and carry them out together. We will listen to our patients and employees to gain knowledge from the point of care. As one university, we are both the University of Utah and the University for Utah, achieving excellence in our missions, ensuring vitality for Utah and the region, and serving as a model for the nation.

Outcomes We Seek for 2025

Our Directed Steps in 2021

Deeper Ties

  1. Develop a population health collaboration within the U Health delivery system involving health sciences college and schools.
  2. Establish one or more new collaborations focused on innovation between the U of U and U Health research institutes and centers.
  3. Launch an inclusive workforce training program to address one or more state and region healthcare workforce needs (e.g., CNA or respiratory therapist shortages)

New Solutions

  1. Construct a new strategy pillar focused on Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion.
  2. Evolve our well-being workgroup into a chartered committee to steer wellness.
  3. Finalize planning for a shared U of U and U Health center located in and tailored to the needs of its community.

Organizational Excellence

  1. Launch a One U committee structure to direct and support health sciences strategy in 2021 and beyond.
  2. Help all staff see their vital role and connections to others within Health through improved organizational communication models.
  3. Develop a sustainable funding model for U Health’s South Main Clinic programs.
  4. Elevate reported employee physical & psychological safety through new managerial trainings and response infrastructure.

Serve Communities & the Region

How We Are Advancing

Service • Engagement • Mission Driven

University of Utah Health is here to serve Utah and the Mountain West as care providers, educators, researchers, partners, advocates, and more. We are an anchor institution in our community. We will further the impact of our work in these roles by connecting our efforts and prioritizing service to communities and people. Service is foundational to our mission to advance health. Communities, partners, and people make us who we are, and we are fully invested in their health, wellness, and success.

Outcomes We Seek for 2025

Our Directed Steps in 2021

Deeper Ties

  1. Create engagement strategy for a rural Utah market as a potential model for partnering with and serving rural communities.
  2. Work with regional provider partners to formalize service and referral plans.
  3. Improve completion rates for referrals to U Health from the South Jordan VA through strengthened protocols.
  4. Create process to measure and tailor fit of Project ECHO rural educational offerings to community needs, including training on equity, diversity and inclusion.
  5. For one or more multicultural communities, prepare competent and inclusive health education materials in appropriate languages.

New Solutions

  1. Begin the construction process for the new mental health receiving center for Salt Lake County.
  2. Expand SafeUT Frontlline services to all healthcare, law enforcement and fire/EMS first responders in Utah.
  3. Initiate a community mental health needs assessment and healthcare professional survey for rural communities of Utah.
  4. Extend Project Core consult service to a referring, external primary care group.

Organizational Excellence

  1. Publish a registry of all U of U and U Health community engagements.
  2. Partner with Community and University stakeholders to address Public Health issues beginning with air quality, disparities in health care access and treatment..
  3. Support U Research addressing community needs for rural and regional partners including ECHO, community health workers, etc.

Education

How We Are Advancing

Collaborative • Innovative • Exceptional

We are driven by a central vision of an exceptional educational experience for all students across all University of Utah Health colleges and schools. Through collaboration and a strong education community, we build student knowledge, skills, and attitudes. We strive for educational impact and transformation. Our educational programs actively engage communities, help address their needs, and prepare students to thrive in real-world environments. We train tomorrow’s health care experts and leaders to succeed in a rapidly changing world.

Outcomes We Seek for 2025

Our Directed Steps in 2021

Deeper Ties

  1. Elucidate what constitutes an exceptional education experience by engaging and learning from students.
  2. Define a set of shared metrics for value and distinction in education.
  3. Advance exceptional faculty experience by making promotion pathways clearer and more informed by data.
  4. Innovate a process to improve the efficiency of clinical placement scheduling.

New Solutions

  1. Enroll a first cohort of students in the Masters of Education in Health Professions program.
  2. Develop and adopt expectations for representations of diversity in all educational presentations.
  3. Launch a curriculum for a mental health common competency program across health sciences.

Organizational Excellence

  1. Partner with advancement, marketing and communications to develop a collaborative plan for U Health’s education mission.
  2. Launch the Center for Health Ethics, Arts and Humanities.
  3. Expand and advance the scope and structure of the Center for Interprofessional Experiential Learning.

Discovery

How We Are Advancing

Excellence Across the Research Spectrum

We improve human health for all by advancing biomedical discoveries, innovation, and health care practices. Weaving discovery through all we do amplifies the impact and pace of our combined work and further differentiates us as a leading academic health system.

Outcomes We Seek for 2025

Our Directed Steps in 2021

Deeper Ties

  1. Develop and share best-practices related to faculty support and mentoring (including grant submission plans) and celebration of successes.
  2. Inventory resources for engaging with community partners and promote best practices for community engagement.
  3. Create and communicate mentoring resources for postdoctoral fellows and graduate students.
  4. Work with IHC to increase researcher access and links between the Utah Population Database and the HerediGene Population Study.

New Solutions

  1. Design survey for new wet-lab research building, and define a plan to bridge the gap for wet-lab space until the new building is completed.
  2. Develop and implement programs to increase recruitment and success of underrepresented faculty, graduate students, and postdocs.
  3. Inventory available training resources for entrepreneurs at all levels and define success metrics for HS commercialization.

Organizational Excellence

  1. Work with Advancement, Marketing and Communications to develop a collaborative Research mission plan in these areas.
  2. Conduct analysis of health sciences research mission investment.
  3. Finalize the scope and structure of a clinical research support office within the CSTI.

Innovate Care

How We Are Advancing

Patient Focused • Accessible • Provider Friendly

We tailor services to the specific needs of each patient and seamlessly move them through our health system. Care is sensitive to patient time and money and is available close to (or at) home with little to no wait. Routine care is often handled virtually on-demand. Growth is sustainable for providers. Care roles are top-of-license and team-based. Diverse, talented professionals come here and stay for their careers.

Outcomes We Seek for 2025

Our Directed Steps in 2021

Deeper Ties

  1. Finalize the master plan and phasing for a new health center tailored to its Utah community.
  2. Expand use of CNS capabilities (e.g., hospital at home and timely discharge) to optimize hospital capacity and bed utilization.
  3. Begin remote digital monitoring of high-risk UUHP enrollees.
  4. Finalize relationship with digital front door partner, begin MyChart integrations, and launch version 1.0.

New Solutions

  1. Develop models for care team configuration and sustainable funding in primary care, disease management and surgical specialties to effectively serve patients of all backgrounds.
  2. Identify and prep two specialties to pilot 0-to-2-day reserved access for patients with an urgent Project Core referral.
  3. Improve availability and coordination of mental health services in primary care clinics.
  4. Rollout cardiovascular triage team at Farmington Health Center as a learning pilot for streamlining urgent access and ED avoidance.

Organizational Excellence

  1. Formalize a partnership between health system and the research enterprise to diagnose barriers and propose collaborative theory for ongoing innovations.
  2. Learn to better coordinate internal referrals by expanding primary care coordination program to 2 new, high-demand specialties.
  3. Charter a team to craft a forward-looking, One U digital health strategy that resolves questions of equitable access, financing, and IT coordination.

Accountable for Outcomes

How We Are Advancing

Value • Experience • Population Health

University of Utah Health is firmly established as one of the nation’s highest value academic health centers, a top performer in quality, safety, and caring. We seek the next phase of our ambition: becoming directly accountable for our choices and their outcomes.

Outcomes We Seek for 2025

Our Directed Steps in 2021

Deeper Ties

  1. Propose diabetes management program to U of U HRs that has robust health outcomes and cost-management components.
  2. Flag and fix out-of-pocket price differences for common elective services across U Health sites.

New Solutions

  1. Create plan for growing AdvantageU Medicare membership that leverages and synergizes with our care delivery system.
  2. Target 2+ known health disparities in patient cohorts and begin tailoring clinical and non-clinical, community-based interventions to close gaps.
  3. Embed PROs into Epic to inform clinical decisions for 2+ clinical groups (e.g., depression, dermatology, heart failure patients and orthopaedics).

Organizational Excellence

  1. Define system health-outcome measures for 3+ important health conditions (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, chronic kidney disease, colon cancer, and depression).
  2. Learn from our patient advisory panel how to Improve collection and use of health outcomes data.
  3. Develop Resiliency Center model that matches clinical providers and staff to appropriate resiliency resources.

Together as One U, we serve communites and the region, lead education and discovery, and innovate care accountable for outcomes.

Communities, partners, and people make us who we are, and we are fully invested in their health, wellness and success.